Wednesday, March 11, 2015


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What type of relationship should U.S. establish with Cuba? Chose all that apply. Comments welcome! free polls
     What do you think about the U.S. establishing normal ties with Cuba?  Please take the Poll above: "What type of relationship should U.S. establish with Cuba?" Also, the article "Should the U.S. and Cuba Become Friends?" adds some pro's and con's surrounding the issue. Also, the video (below) offers insight into the public's view of Cuba being on the "State Sponsor of Terrorism" list.
     In my OSINT research on the attempt to establish normal Cuba/U.S. relations, I ran into an in-depth article in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. The Gleaner reports that Cuba’s spot on the American list of states that sponsor terrorism has emerged as a major sticking point in efforts to restore diplomatic ties with the United States and reopen embassies that have been closed for nearly five decades.
     This was revealed on Friday during a meeting of Cuban and American officials for a second round of talks aimed at pursuing the pledge by the US to restore diplomatic relations.

     US Secretary of State John Kerry said removing Cuba from the list was not part of the negotiations but, instead, an evaluation that the department must make based on congressionally-mandated criteria. He said the department must determine whether Cuba, in the last six months, has been engaged in supporting international terrorist acts.
     “That evaluation will be made appropriately, and nothing will be done with respect to the list until the evaluation is completed,” Kerry told reporters, without indicating how long that would take.
     At the same time, Cuban officials said they could not envision opening a formal embassy in the United States while their country remains on the terror list. The only other countries listed are Iran, Sudan and Syria.
     “It would be a contradiction, the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, if Cuba still remains on the list of countries sponsoring international terrorism,” Gustavo Machin, deputy director of American affairs at the Cuba Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Wednesday in Havana.
But after Friday’s talks, Josefina Vidal, a senior Cuban foreign ministry official, told reporters that removing Cuba from the terrorism list was not a prerequisite for diplomatic ties.
     The public's view of Cuba being on State Sponsors of Terrorism list

     In December, US President Barak Obama announced that Cuba’s terror designation would be reviewed. US State Department officials have sought to play down the terror list’s significance in the discussions about reopening embassies, declining to say when a review of Cuba’s designation would be completed.

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Sunday, March 8, 2015


 Iran's Nuclear Weapons Prograrm

     Over a decade ago  the CIA conducted a nuclear sting operation upon Iran. Because of it, the U.N. monitors have to be wary in their past assessments of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons work. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors will have to review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the sting, in which the CIA passed doctored blueprints for nuclear-weapon components to Iran in February 2000.

     In short, the CIA planted a ‘smoking gun’ in Iran for the IAEA to find, according to Peter Jenkins, the U.K.’s former envoy to the Vienna-based agency. Since the U.N.'s IAEA is responsible for determining if Iran has been trying to develop nuclear weapons, the CIA sting op resulted in continued tough international sanctions against Iran; it nullified the chances of them being eased a bit, or lifted. 
     Iran has repeatedly accused the IAEA of basing its case on forged documents, but the IAEA has never acknowledged receiving tampered evidence and claims it carries out 
thorough assessments of the information it receives. The CIA remained silent when asked about the sting operation.      Enter Jeffrey Sterling. Documents were filed as evidence to an Alexandria, Virginia court on Jan. 14 for the trial of Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted of leaking classified information about the CIA sting operation against Iran.     Sterling worked on a CIA project aimed at misleading Iranian scientists by feeding modified designs for nuclear-weapons components to the country’s IAEA mission in Austria. He stated, “The goal is to plant this substantial piece of deceptive information on the Iranian nuclear-weapons program, sending them down blind alleys, wasting their time and money.”
     Since the IAEA’s suspicions about Iran rest on older information provided by intelligence agencies, this is relevant, indeed. However, IAEA inspectors don’t only rely on spy data, according to one of the diplomats, who pointed to the agency’s assessment of Iran’s Parchin Military complex, where the country is alleged to have tested high explosives. Satellite imagery analysis and open-source data also play roles.
     Iran probably stopped pursuing a nuclear bomb in 2003, according to the most recently published U.S. National Intelligence Estimate, the consensus of 16 intelligence agencies including the CIA. Still, suspicions linger. The IAEA reported Thursday that its 12-year probe of Iran has stalled.
“While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material” inspectors cannot “conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities,” the IAEA said in its quarterly report.
     The CIA sting shows the kind of tactics that the U.S. and its allies have used against Iran, according to Dan Joyner, a law professor at the University of Alabama. “The falsification of nuclear-related documents is a very real part of such states’ efforts to frustrate Iran’s nuclear program,” said Joyner, who has written extensively on nuclear proliferation risks. He added, “This revelation highlights the dangers of reliance by the IAEA upon evidence concerning Iran provided to it by third party states whose political agendas are antithetical to Iran.”
     Like many in the West, I don't trust Iran and believe that it is bent on developing a nuclear weapon. I wrote the article "Are Cyberattacks on Iran's Nuclear Program Justified?"       Lastly, I offer 6 OSINT resources which I use when writing about Iran's fallacious pursuit of nuclear weapons disguised as a tranquil, peaceful quest for nuclear energy: 

  1. Nuclear Iran  This website reports on a broad range of information about Iran's nuclear program, from current news and assessments to ongoing diplomatic efforts to halt its uranium enrichment, satellite imagery and ground photos of Iran's nuclear sites. This site was made possible by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation.
  2. The Iran Primer  This site is comprehensive, for it brings together 50 experts—Western and Iranian—in concise chapters on politics, economy, military, foreign policy, and the nuclear program. It chronicles events under six U.S. presidents. It also has leader bios, timelines, data on nuclear sites—and context for what lies ahead.
  3. Arms Control Association- Kelsey Davenport  Davenport is the Director for Nonproliferation Policy at the Arms Control Association, where she provides research and analysis on the nuclear and missile programs in Iran, North Korea, India, and Pakistan and on nuclear security issues.
  4. Intelligence on Iran- get the facts  This is the premiere source of information tracking the Iranian nuclear program and the international effort being waged to keep the Islamic Republic from reaching a nuclear capability. 
  5. United Against Nuclear Iran  United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group that seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons. UANI was founded in 2008 by Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross. It joins the international community in attempting to stop Iran from continuing its illegal nuclear weapons program, and from supporting terrorism and gross human rights violations. 
  6. Iran 180   This website symbolizes a movement of people and organizations who have come together as a unified voice to demand a 180 turnaround by the Iranian government on their pursuit of nuclear weapons and the treatment of their citizens. Founded in 2010 as a coalition of concerned community organizations, Iran180 has established itself at the forefront of advocacy on behalf of victims of the Iranian regime, and against the regime in Tehran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.  
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Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


14 reasons U.S. mosques should be monitored

Are radicalized Muslim American citizens a national security threat? (Comments welcome) free polls
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According to the Mapping Sharia in America Project, former counterterrorism and counterintelligence agents targeted 2,300 mosques, Islamic centers and schools across America for undercover surveillance.

So far these ex-FBI, CIA and U.S. military agents investigated 100 mosques and concluded that 75 of them should be put on a watch list, for they were hotbeds of anti-Western extremism.

Unfortunately, radical mosques inside America remain under the radar of our Intelligence Community (IC) because they operate behind the sponsorship of the Saudi Arabian government and are backed by U.S. front groups for the radical Muslim Brotherhood, which is based in Egypt. However, Egypt recently banned the terrorist group Hamas and cracked down on the organization which Hamas works closely with...the Muslim Brotherhood.  Yet, the Muslim Brotherhood remains unrestrained inside America.

Although not all of Saudi Arabia's mosques in the U.S. are radicalized, many of them are. In fact, there have been 40 instances where radical Islamists and terrorists were linked to U.S. mosques. I offer 14 reasons for the mosques in the U.S. to be watched more carefully:

1.   Sermons by Saudi-trained imams incite insurrection and jihad.

2.   Anti-Western videos, literature and textbooks are displayed and sold in the mosques.

3.   Women are singled out for discrimination while men mosque members are favored. The women are forced to wear hijabs and separated from men in the prayer halls and are required to enter from separate, usually back entrances.

4.   The imams preach that women are inferior to men and can be justifiably beaten for disobedience.

5.   The imams advocate that Jews are infidels and inferior to Muslims.

6.   The imams lecture their worshippers that jihad or support of jihad is not only a Muslim's duty, but is the noblest way to live.

7.   Suicide bombers and other forms of being a martyr are worthy of the highest praise. The Saudi-trained imams preach that suffering for the cause of Islam, being a willing victim....and being a sacrificial victim are the progenies of devotion to Islam.

8.   Solicitation for financial support for jihad is encouraged.

9.   Mosque bookstores sell books, CDs and DVDs promoting jihad and glorifying martyrdom.

10.              Some mosques inside America serve as safe houses and meeting places for Islamic terrorist groups. In the last decade, 40 cases of these links between mosques and terrorist groups have been uncovered.

11.              Some of the 9/11 hijackers received aid and counsel from the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Washington, DC. which is run by the Muslim Brotherhood.

12.              The Adams Center, a Washington, DC mosque, was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood and is the leading distributor of Wahhabist anti-Semitic and anti-Christian doctrine.

13.               In most mosques where violent literature was found, the Imam actively encouraged the "Mapping Sharia" agents posing as new attendees to study this violent material.

14.              We already have had numerous terrorist attacks and incidents inside America which were influenced by radical Islam ideology. See "89 Terrorist Attacks Inside America."

For these reasons, I suggest the American government no longer refrain from investigating the thousands of mosques and Islamic Centers rapidly spreading throughout the U.S. heartland. After all, the European Union intelligence agencies and law enforcement have undertaken a large-scale operation that analyzes member-state mosques and examines the training and funding sources of the imams.

I believe our leaders in congress and in the White House should begin a "deterrent approach" to the increasing peril of homegrown terrorism and Islamic radicalization by following Europe's lead. After all, the U.S. previously has legally probed and lawfully reined-in other groups and organizations that favor violence to achieve political ends, such as the Weather Underground or "Weathermen", Black Panthers, Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), abortion clinic opponents, Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). 

A growing number of American citizens convert to radical Islam inside U.S. prisons, within 80 percent of mosques controlled by radical imams, and through the Internet. It's time to bring this militant movement to a halt.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


     In 2012, I believed there was a good chance that al-Qaeda may topple the Yemen Government. At the time I was surfing foreign media and came across a Xinhua news report of a huge bomb blast that hit the headquarters of the Yemen military intelligence agency in the Al-Mansoura district in Aden. Xinhua news interviewed a local police officer in this southern port city, who said there were no immediate reports of casualties.
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     The bomb was planted by gunmen of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and detonated at the main gate of the military intelligence building, shattering the windows of residential buildings nearby. The battle between AQAP in Yemen was heating up in 2012 and it has intensified ever since.
     Currently, in January of 2015, the Syrian-based terror group ISIS has moved into Yemen to recruit a fresh supply of jihad warriors. It is competing with al-Qaeda for control of the country in at least three provinces in southern and central Yemen.
     The good news is that both terrorist groups haven't banded together and the intense competition between them has resulted in gun-battles. Even though fierce battles are being waged in Yemen's eastern provincesAQAP remains the dominant force there.
     According to CNN, one American intelligence official believes that, although there may be a smattering of ISIS loyalists among Sunni extremists in Yemen, they are likely "mid-level AQAP militants who are sympathetic to ISIL's vision but haven't broken ranks."
     The ISIS factor wasn't considered in 2012, when I was applying basic GEOINT overlaying mapping skills to predict the likelihood of al-Qaeda taking over the Yemeni Government. The death tolls were rising rapidly and a fresh battle began between al-Qaeda militants and government forces in the neighboring southern province of Abyan. Eighty army soldiers and 27 terrorists died in that heated exchange.    
     Now, in 2015, I think back on my 2012 OSINT research and the conclusion that the Yemen government was on the brink of toppling due to Al Qaeda's presence. AQAP took full advantage of the country's political and economic hardships- a civil war was waging in the North, a secessionist movement in the South, and they had no problems recruiting the masses of disenfranchised citizens of Yemen. I wonder how many jihad warriors ISIS is recruiting in Yemen, as we speak?
     Economic failings combined with a government full of corruption also bolstered al-Qaeda's effectiveness in 2012 and these factors are, no doubt, still in play not only for AQAP...but ISIS as well. 
     Another mitigating factor present in 2012 that led me to believe Yemen would become a failed state under AQAP's control was that Yemen needed internal security... but it was absent. They simply could not prevent the resurgence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, for the southern secessionist movement and the civil war in Saada spread the meager government security forces too thin. 
     In 2012, I uncovered the article "AQAP Vows To Control Red Sea Gate (al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula )" in the APS Diplomat News Service. The South Yemen-based AQAP leader Sa'id al-Shehri vowed to control Bab al-Mandab, the southern gate to the Red Sea. He also claimed credit for the failed attack on the passenger jet approaching Detroit and called for further attacks against US and Jewish interests.
     Shehri preached that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the U.S. "crusader" interests were everywhere and stressed, "The Christians, the Jews, and the treacherous apostate rulers have pounced on you. You have no other way out from this plight than to wage jihad."
     If Saudi Arabia and the West begin a full anti-insurgency campaign against AQAP, I wonder if they'll make amends with and band together with ISIS?  
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Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

Saturday, January 17, 2015


     American jihadist Anwar al-Awlaki raised his ugly head again...from the grave. He is linked to the Paris Charlie Hebdo massacre and intelligence agents are fervently working to see if his network still thrives and is operational, even though he is no longer amongst us! Even though a U.S. drone Hellfire missile killed him in September of 2011 in Yemen, his influence lives on, for his past jihadist words continue to provoke radicalized Muslims to savagely attack Western targets (The recent murders of journalists, cops, and Jews in Paris is an example).
     French, European and American intelligence operatives are aggressive gathering details about the planning, funding, and coordination of the Paris attacks so they can identify  sleeper cells that remain lurking in the shadows. So far, it is obvious that the New Mexico-born Anwar al-Awlaki has, indeed, inspired, directed, and provided the initial funding for the murderous Jan. 7 attack on the satirical tabloid weekly Charlie Hebdo.
     The current leader of al-Awlaki's murderous terrorist group in Yemen is named Nasr al-Ansi and he proudly claimed responsibility for the Paris attack in the name of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). His announcement came in video format and was broadcast on jihadist websites which called the attackers, Chérif and Saïd Kouachi, “heroes of Islam.”

Are radicalized Muslim American citizens a national security threat? (Comments welcome)
     Before being blown to bits by a U.S. Hellfire missile, Anwar al-Awlaki played a significant role in the global al-Qaeda jihad. Unfortunately, his influence remains sizeable and long-drawn-out as he continues to be a legendary "who's who" for a new generation of jihad attackers against the The online social media sites he created aired DVDs and taped sermons on jihad, many of which were found in the computers of jihadists such as the U.S. army officer responsible for the Fort Hood shootings, Major Nidal Hassan; the underpants bomber Abdulmuttallab; the Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad; the planners of the 2010 cargo plane bomb plot; the Boston Marathon bombing Tsarnaev brothers; and with at least 52 other American citizens or U.S. residents who have committed jihadist terrorist-related crimes. They all had studied al-Awlaki's DVD and lecture tapes or communicated with him on the internet.

ISIS lures recruits worldwide with a sophisticated social media operation

      U.S. intelligence was particularly concerned about al-Awlaki because he spoke colloquial English, which made him remarkably valuable to al-Qaeda for recruiting American jihadist. Even today, his DVDs and taped sermons continue to emanate from Yemen and are used to perpetuate hatred against the West, particularly the U.S. Virtually every attempted terrorist attack against the West by Salafist jihadists since 2009 has had some association with AQAP or with this deceased Islamic cleric.
     I think the numbers of radicalized Americans and  homegrown terrorist cells will multiply throughout America's heartland as long as we lack a robust counterintelligence capability. I felt this way ever since meeting Charles "Charlie" Allen, the well-known counterterrorism expert who spoke at an Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) seminar in Tyson Corner, Va. in 2006. Allen warned us in a 45-minute lecture on how Americans become radicalized on the Internet.
     Anwar Al-Awlaki, José Padilla, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, Bryant Neal Vinas, Ali Mohamed, Ziyad Khaleel, the Buffalo Six, and Wadih El-Hage were the initial radicalized American actors in Allen's warning- the cast has since multiplied.
     In October 2008, Allen stated that Anwar al-Awlaki "targets US Muslims with radical online lectures encouraging terrorist attacks from his new home in Yemen." Quoting Allen, Al-Awlaki snapped back in December 2008: "I would challenge him to come up with just one such lecture where I encourage 'terrorist attacks.'"

     Al-Awlaki's retort was mendacious, indeed, for his call for violent jihad against Westerners turned up in the personal computer hard disc drives of many radical Islamists who have been arrested or killed. Just recently, Cherif Kouachi, one of the two brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre, told a French television journalist in a phone call before he died that he was acting on behalf of al-Qaida of Yemen. "I was sent- me, Cherif Kouachi- by al-Qaida of Yemen," then he added, "I went out there and it was Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki who financed me."
     It's apparent that Anwar al-Awlaki's anti-Westerner murderous ideology still breathes in the mindsets of countless radical Islamists. So, what should the citizens and governments of Europe and North America do right now?
     Here are 5 practical and logical steps to set off the opening salvo in the West's new war against radical Islam:

1.   Continue with the "capture or kill" stratagem against the leaders of radical Islam via special ops, drones, etc.

2.    Aggressively identify and control Muslim religious leaders who preach or call for the support of radical Islam. For example, the Islamic Center of Portland, OR was run by a Muslim preacher named Abdirahman Karive, who came to the U.S. in 1982 from Somalia. He founded the Global Relief Foundation in 1992, which was a charity that was eventually shut down by the U.S. government for financing Al-Qaeda. Keep watch over Islamic organizations in America that directly support or sympathize with terrorism and/or radical Islam.

3.   Fight back on social media! There are 56 million Facebook users in the Middle East. There are also thousands of web pages on social media that are used by radical Islamist groups to draw in and recruit followers. They use social and religious programs to subvert roughly 47 percent of the Arab world which is poor and ignorant. Oppose and expose them! Write in comments on these sites that detail the flaws in radical Islam's logic and how the leaders monopolize wealth and crave nothing but power. They use social media to disseminate ideas among the masses and paid more than 20 million Egyptian pounds to create an ‘electronic militia’ in order to broadcast rumors, skew the truth, and promote lies o undermine their opponents. The Western governments and citizens should form their own "online militia" and fight back.

4.   Increased monitoring of travel between Europe and the Middle East.  It seems as if European citizens come and go to and from Syria and Iraq by the plane load. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but newly radicalized European Muslims flocking to fight with jihadi militias in Syria more than doubled in 2013 and the numbers are swelling. Experts estimate that between 2,000 and 3,000 Europeans are acquiring combat and explosives skills as part of their anti-Assad fighting, as we speak. They will become a formidable terror threat upon their return not only Europe, but to America as well.

5.   We need a formal declaration of war against radical Islam by the Congress of the United States. The declaration should resemble the one made by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who told his people on Jan. 10 that they were at war: “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity.”

Related Posts:

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form